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Looking for help navigating the finance maze? The Financial Advisers Register is a good place to start, particularly now.

The Australian Securities and Investments Commission (ASIC) register of advisers was launched on 31st of March this year, but became significantly more useful this month when it included extra details. These will help you to assess advisers’ expertise.

The register lists every adviser, Australia wide, who is licensed to provide personal advice on investments, superannuation and life insurance. That’s an important distinction, because personal advice is financial advice which is specific to your needs and circumstances.
 

The register requires advisers to list:

  • how long they have been an adviser
  • the products they are licensed to advise on
  • their qualifications and training
  • their employment history as an adviser (from March 2010 onwards)
  • memberships of professional bodies
  • details of the ownership of the licensee which includes disclosure of any ultimate parent company
  • any banning orders, disqualifications or enforceable undertakings accepted by ASIC

 

The limitations

The information contained in the register will give you a snapshot of an adviser’s credentials and expertise so it’s a good place to start, but there are a few limitations to keep in mind.

  • The information on the register is provided by licensees and not verified by ASIC (but they are obliged to ensure that information about their financial advisers is true and correct).
  • An adviser’s place on the register is not a recommendation or endorsement from ASIC. Have a look at ‘Getting good advice‘ for tips on choosing a financial adviser.
  • Advisers who have been quietly terminated or ‘moved on’ by employers for questionable practices may not have bans, disqualifications or enforceable undertakings listed against them.

If you are cannot find an adviser’s name on the list, ask for their representative number or ABN. If you still can’t find them on the list, beware. They may not be licensed to provide personal advice on investments, superannuation or life insurance.
 

Do you have feedback about the financial advisors register?

ASIC is encouraging feedback from the public to help them improve the register.

Use MoneySmart’s feedback form to do this.

 

What are your thoughts?

Do you think the financial advisers register is worthwhile? What experiences have you had with financial advisers? Is there anything else you’d like to know about investing and planning your finances?

Join the conversation — leave a comment below and let us know what you’re thoughts are.